VIC Committee

Alex van der Meer Simo
Braden Jenkin (Chair)
David Dore
Jo Lewis
Liam Costello
Rod Keenan
Sebastian Klein


Response to state government native forest harvesting decision

The Victorian branch have been actively responding to the Victorian government’s decision to cease native forest harvesting by 1 January 2024. See below for a position statement and correspondence with key leaders:

Position statement on Victorian Government native forest decision

Letter from President to Premier Allen regarding future of VicForests staff

Response to President’s letter from Minister Spence

Victorian Division Strategic Plan

The incoming Victorian Division committee and invited members met in December 2020 to develop a strategic plan for the Division from 2021-23.  Incoming Chair of the Division, Professor Rod Keenan, invites Victorian-based members to review the plan and indicate their interest in supporting its implementation.

Please contact Rod Keenan or Secretary, Keith Maplestone to indicate your interest

To download Strategic plan 2021-20232021 Review, click HERE

To download Victorian Committee Report 2021, click HERE


Gary Featherston (President)
Gib Wettenhall (Secretary)

Recreating The Country Debut on YouTube

Last year, the Ballarat Region Treegrowers/AFG published the book “Recreating the Country” written by  Steve Murphy, and this year we began a model ‘biorich plantation’ program based on the principles in the book.

Stephen Oakes, a local film maker, was commissioned by BRT/AFG to produce a short video on the planting.  His video is now on Youtube.

We hope you will watch it and use it to spread the word.  We hope to update the video next year when the second stage of planting occurs, and over the next 5-10 years to show how the ‘biorich plantation’ develops.

“Recreating The Country” video on YouTube

Portable and Conventional Sawmilling Systems

Gary Waugh from Forest Products Consultancy gave a presentation Portable and conventional sawmilling systems at a field day organised by Ballarat Region Treegrowers, Timber Industry Training Centre and Victorian Landcare Centre, DPI.

To view the presentation click on the link below.
Portable and conventional sawmilling systems presentation

FFORNE (Farmed Forests of the North East)

John Steer (President)

About the Branch

Although FFORNE was originally a government sponsored organisation to provide incentives to landholders to establish eucalypt plantations, the acronym became the name for the farm forestry branch for North East Victoria of the Australian Forest Growers. With the subsequent amalgamation of AFG and IFA (the Institute of Foresters of Australia) to form what is now Forestry Australia, the FFORNE group is now a branch of Forestry Australia.

The FFORNE group has a committee of seven which meets regularly via internet and organises one or two events a year across North East Victoria.

The groups Guiding Principles or Mission Statement are:

  1. To promote the practice of farm-forestry
  2. To provide a forum for farm-forestry landowners so as to assist individuals’ needs
  3. To connect FFORNE members to the wider farm-forestry community

The Committee regularly provide free updates to their email list of persons interested in farm forestry across the North East. If you wish to learn more about the FFORNE group and/or become involved in activities please email:

Gippsland Agroforestry Network


Peter Devonshire (President)
David Bennett (Secretary)
Bob Gray (Treasurer)

About the Branch

The Gippsland Agroforestry Network was formed in 1992 as the first Agroforestry Network and is now a regional Branch of Australian Forest Growers.

The Network is non-profit, and interested in developing a profitable and sustainable timber industry in Gippsland, based on the production of wood from farm plantations and private native forests.  It brings together farmers, professional foresters, landcarers, nursery owners, contractors, sawmillers, advisors and those who just have an interest.

The Network holds regular meetings, field days and farm walks where a variety of topics are addressed. The Network also has various items of establishment and pruning equipment which are loaned free to members.

Agroforestry or Farm Forestry

Agroforestry, or “farm forestry” as it is more often called these days, is the integration of productive trees into the agricultural landscape.While the benefits of trees to agriculture, the environment and our sense of well-being are well known, the ability of properly planned, established and managed trees to contribute significantly to farm incomes is often not appreciated.

Whilst government support for farm forestry has recently dropped dramatically, local and national groups are getting on with the job of supplying environmentally responsible timber in a climate where access to native forests is becoming more restricted.  Markets for environmental services, especially carbon, are rapidly emerging.  World timber demand is generally expected to exceed supply over the next 20 years, so industry in Australia is currently working to dramatically increase our plantation area. Although the figure is dropping slowly, Australia continues to run annual deficits of almost $2 billion in forest products, so there’s ample opportunity for import replacement. Farm forestry can make a significant contribution to this target, especially if farm foresters organise themselves into local groups with regional and national affiliations.  To further the cause in Gippsland we have the Gippsland Agroforestry Network, Farm Forest Growers, Victoria., and Australian Forest Growers respectively.